Letters of Intent Signed for New Development
A Foodtown supermarket and a Subway sandwich shop may soon be renting space in Bloomfield’s new town center development.
A letter of intent has been signed by Metro Real Estate Development Corporation to lease retail space to a Foodtown supermarket and a Subway sandwich shop in Bloomfield’s new development, according to Principal Developer Bill Colgan.
“Subway will be opening up, and we’re negotiating right now for a lease with Foodtown,” Colgan told Patch at a recent meeting at his Broad Street offices.
Colgan’s announcement may come as a surprise to some town residents who have protested the idea of installing a Foodtown in the new development. First introduced by Township Attorney Joe Baumann at a township council meeting on June 25, the idea met with some resistance from community members who said they hoped for a high-end anchor store to attract a more select clientele to Bloomfield.
"They promised us they wouldn't bring in a Foodtown or a Pathmark," said one disappointed business owner after the council meeting. "We wanted a Trader Joe's."
“We would like to get Trader Joes, but they said, no way, no how,” insisted Colgan. "We’re glad that Foodtown is considering it. We think it’s a good fit. We’re excited by getting it on board.”
He added, “I challenge anyone to look at Jack’s Foodtown in Caldwell’s and say, ‘this is not what we want in Bloomfield’.”
The news that Metro Development has also inked a letter of intent with Subway may come as even more of a shock to members of the community, who said they expected something different in the new redevelopment complex. Right now, there is a Subway sandwich shop at 135 Bloomfield Avenue in Bloomfield Plaza and a Quiznos sandwich shop at 588 Bloomfield Avenue, around the corner from the construction site.
“A business has to believe it will succeed to move in over there,” Colgan explained. “The first project never accomplishes the end goal. You have to walk before you can run.”
Still, he said, “We can’t nail down retailers till we have definite opening days for the development.”
Ultimately, the brand new AvalonBay residential complex will change the demographics of the downtown area, Colgan said.
“If you think AvalonBay is going to allow us to rent to the type of businesses that will hurt the development, you’re mistaken. Any other town that has deteriorated to the extent that Bloomfield has . . . well, you have to be realistic. Bloomfield leapfrogs over what would be possible any other town, because of the commitment by AvalonBay.”
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